Strong Language in Books?

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Ljessup
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Re: Strong Language in Books?

Post by Ljessup » 05 Sep 2017, 17:57

I don't mind strong language within a book. I think if it flows nicely then it adds to the story greatly. That being said, I do think that strong language can be overdone and when that happens I find myself annoyed and wondering what provoked the author to use so much throughout their story. Balance is key and I think that if an author finds the right balance then it will make for a great story.
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Post by Juliet Esther » 06 Sep 2017, 08:54

There shouldn't be any kind of restriction cause books are not for everybody but again if there is some kind of strong language in a book maybe kids should be advised not to read them
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Post by Momiji1987 » 09 Sep 2017, 00:16

I believe in the right to free speech, so I wouldn't want to outright ban foul language in books, but maybe a ratings system like we have for music and movies would be nice. It would be great to know in advance for people who would prefer to avoid nasty language.
I hate curse words myself and seldom use them unless I'm extremely mad (rarely). But I think certain people can use crude language in a way that's humorous and not offensive because the malice isn't present. People who abuse the F word or stuff like that can be offensive because its unnecessary to speak that way. I think it's best to keep swearing at a minimum in order to have the largest audience possible.

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Post by csimmons032 » 09 Sep 2017, 16:54

Obviously the usage of bad language is the author's choice, but I would prefer it if authors kept it to a minimum or none at all. I can deal with a couple of bad words here and there, but if I am constantly seeing it throughout the book then it just makes me uncomfortable, and sometimes I even stop reading the book. There are many things in this world that can influence others to use bad language, and I think that books can play a role in that if the person reads a lot. However, as mentioned above, there are many things that can influence the way people talk.
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Post by Zupanatural » 10 Sep 2017, 06:55

k2rugman wrote:I don't think there should be any kind of censorship in writing books but I do think less of an author when there is significant strong language. I can understand an expletive in an intense situation but when a character says the F word five times in a casual sentence it feels sloppy and childish.
There is certainly a fine line when it comes to bad language. Irvine Welsh's books (the most famous of course being Trainspotting) are full of filthy language but, if you get what he's doing, it isn't at all gratuitous- it serves to give a true & accurate rendering of how people from deprived backgrounds/areas really do communicate.
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Post by breyfoglese » 15 Sep 2017, 06:48

Profanity exists for a reason; sometimes the normal words don't cut it. If books are going to express the human experience, then I agree with others and say that they should be able to use curse words. That being said, I'd be leery of a book that normalized racial/gendered slurs and implicitly argued that they were okay; not that it should be illegal to publish, but that I wouldn't want to read or support it.
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Post by AmandaMac » 15 Sep 2017, 08:28

I'm okay with strong language in books,but only if it's used to add to the story being told. Such as one character using the strong language because that's part of their personality, or using it to show the frustration of a character who normally avoids strong language.

I would rather read it in a book as opposed to seeing it in movies or on television. I feel like the screen writers just ran out of ideas, but I've also seen a few movies where strong language was the only language for the most part.
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Post by Fictions Mistress » 15 Sep 2017, 11:54

Strong language in books can really add to the overall atmosphere. When done right, it helps immerse you in the story. However, swearing for the sake of swearing is something I can't stand in a book. It gets distracting and the reader can definitely tell when it's just for dramatic effect. Like with everything, there's a line.

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Post by Mjgarrison » 22 Sep 2017, 18:30

I don't think it should be restricted, that being said I will not read a book with to many curse words. There are people that enjoy that kind of language though and that is their opinion. I feel like books should be rated like movies, so I don't buy it then figure out I can't read it a few pages in

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Post by hebcandle » 23 Sep 2017, 16:18

If the targeted audience is adults, I don't think that explicit language should be restricted. Sometimes the language can add to the story, depending upon the characters and situations presented. The only time language has ever affected my personal use is when it has been in music, not in books.
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Post by Leyla » 23 Sep 2017, 23:32

Curse words help to set the tone of a book. Funny though, when I reach them I just skip past them.

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Post by Chuks Daniel » 26 Sep 2017, 02:12

If the target audience are adults strong language may not entirely be wrong.
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Post by Nick Rones » 27 Sep 2017, 12:57

Gravy wrote:In real life some people use "blue" language. I'm put off if a character that would typically use harsh language doesn't. That's not to say that every *criminal, construction worker, drunkard, etc.* has to, just that it takes a very talented author to tackle one who doesn't (and it actually be readable (in my opinion)).

It would be like an author writing about an MD who never sees a patient, or a prostitute who never sees a client.
That Very Talented Author could likely pull it off, but most would come across as inacurrate and contrived.

So, yes, I think authors should include this language. Preferably only in dialogue (and the written equivalent, i.e. letters), and preferably in an organic manner.

This is a great point. If the language fits into the characters personality it will make the character seem more "real"

-- 27 Sep 2017, 12:58 --
Gravy wrote:In real life some people use "blue" language. I'm put off if a character that would typically use harsh language doesn't. That's not to say that every *criminal, construction worker, drunkard, etc.* has to, just that it takes a very talented author to tackle one who doesn't (and it actually be readable (in my opinion)).

It would be like an author writing about an MD who never sees a patient, or a prostitute who never sees a client.
That Very Talented Author could likely pull it off, but most would come across as inacurrate and contrived.

So, yes, I think authors should include this language. Preferably only in dialogue (and the written equivalent, i.e. letters), and preferably in an organic manner.
This is a great point. If the language fits into the characters personality it will make the character seem more real.

-- 27 Sep 2017, 13:03 --
Gravy wrote:In real life some people use "blue" language. I'm put off if a character that would typically use harsh language doesn't. That's not to say that every *criminal, construction worker, drunkard, etc.* has to, just that it takes a very talented author to tackle one who doesn't (and it actually be readable (in my opinion)).

It would be like an author writing about an MD who never sees a patient, or a prostitute who never sees a client.
That Very Talented Author could likely pull it off, but most would come across as inacurrate and contrived.

So, yes, I think authors should include this language. Preferably only in dialogue (and the written equivalent, i.e. letters), and preferably in an organic manner.
This is a great point. If the language fits into the characters personality it will make the character seem more real.

-- 27 Sep 2017, 13:04 --
Nick Rones wrote:
Gravy wrote:In real life some people use "blue" language. I'm put off if a character that would typically use harsh language doesn't. That's not to say that every *criminal, construction worker, drunkard, etc.* has to, just that it takes a very talented author to tackle one who doesn't (and it actually be readable (in my opinion)).

It would be like an author writing about an MD who never sees a patient, or a prostitute who never sees a client.
That Very Talented Author could likely pull it off, but most would come across as inacurrate and contrived.

So, yes, I think authors should include this language. Preferably only in dialogue (and the written equivalent, i.e. letters), and preferably in an organic manner.

This is a great point. If the language fits into the characters personality it will make the character seem more "real"


-- 27 Sep 2017, 12:58 --
Gravy wrote:In real life some people use "blue" language. I'm put off if a character that would typically use harsh language doesn't. That's not to say that every *criminal, construction worker, drunkard, etc.* has to, just that it takes a very talented author to tackle one who doesn't (and it actually be readable (in my opinion)).

It would be like an author writing about an MD who never sees a patient, or a prostitute who never sees a client.
That Very Talented Author could likely pull it off, but most would come across as inacurrate and contrived.

So, yes, I think authors should include this language. Preferably only in dialogue (and the written equivalent, i.e. letters), and preferably in an organic manner.
This is a great point. If the language fits into the characters personality it will make the character seem more real.

-- 27 Sep 2017, 13:03 --
Gravy wrote:In real life some people use "blue" language. I'm put off if a character that would typically use harsh language doesn't. That's not to say that every *criminal, construction worker, drunkard, etc.* has to, just that it takes a very talented author to tackle one who doesn't (and it actually be readable (in my opinion)).

It would be like an author writing about an MD who never sees a patient, or a prostitute who never sees a client.
That Very Talented Author could likely pull it off, but most would come across as inacurrate and contrived.

So, yes, I think authors should include this language. Preferably only in dialogue (and the written equivalent, i.e. letters), and preferably in an organic manner.
This is a great point. If the language fits into the characters personality it will make the character seem more real.
My apologies. My browser froze up :oops:
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Post by Mindi » 28 Sep 2017, 00:54

If there is constant strong language, I usually choose not to finish the book. My true preference is no cursing at all. However, if it comes up here or there in a book, I just try to overlook it.

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Post by eelavahs-jay » 28 Sep 2017, 10:36

Interesting question you raised. I don't mind bad language in stories. Sometimes it captures the tone more effectively than sugar-coated phrases. Very often people argue that it's a cop out for when authors don't have the eloquence to express themselves/articulate but come on. Replacing "very" with "damn" every once in a while gives the story a certain edge.

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